What To Expect
We invite you to come worship with us. We believe that true worship can change your life, lead you to fall in love with Jesus and experience the living God. What can you expect in worship at Maple Hill Church?
When you arrive, take advantage of our ample parking, located near all entrances. There is a visitors’ welcome center in the lobby area behind the auditorium, where you will find friendly, helpful staff to answer any questions, get directions, connect with a member, or simply find a cup of coffee.
Expect to be greeted and welcomed as soon as you arrive. You are our honored guests, and we want you to feel welcome. God loves all of us, and, in turn, we love you. You will find an attendance card on the back of the pew in front of you. If you feel comfortable doing so, please fill out the guest section and share any us any needs or prayer requests. Give us a record of your attendance.
Sit anywhere you like, there are no reserved seats. Our worship is simple and participatory, patterned after the example of the earliest Christians in the New Testament. Those who lead our worship strive to plan moving, fresh (not a repeat of the same thing week after week), engaging and uplifting services – but, most importantly, a sincere offering to God, in spirit and truth.
You’ll see a wide variety of attire at our worship services. We believe that the most important clothing you wear is internal (Colossians 3:12) – compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We believe in dressing modestly, but, outside of that, your presence is more important than your appearance.
You may be surprised to learn we sing without instrumental accompaniment. This is patterned after our understand of the worship of the earliest Christians and the fact there is no record of Christ and the Apostles using instruments. We believe a cappella singing leaves room for the voice of each worshiper to be heard. We sing to praise God and to exhort and encourage one another. Everyone is welcome to join in the singing, whether you are a professional singer or a shower soloist. God desires we make melody in our hearts more than he critiques the quality of our voices.
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper together each Sunday, a memorial established by Jesus Himself, to commemorate His life, death and resurrection. This is a focal point in our time together. During this memorial, plates of bread, symbolizing the body of Jesus, and individual cups of grape juice, symbolizing the blood of Jesus, are passed among the entire congregation and baptized believers partake of this “Last Supper.”
Each week an offering is collected to support the various ministries and missions our church supports. Occasionally, we will also take a collection for special needs in our community or throughout the world. As our guest you are welcome, but certainly not expected, to join in the offering.
We are a praying people. There will be several prayers offered in every service, led by one or more of our members. If you have a specific prayer request let us know and we will try to include it.
Preaching and Teaching
You will notice that the preacher doesn’t have a title such as Pastor or Reverend. He will probably be referred to as brother, mister, or, just called by his first name. He won’t be wearing any ecclesiastical vestments (special robes), which set him apart. The reason for this is our belief in the priesthood of all believers. We affirm that all believers are equal in God’s sight. The sermon is the time when the “good news” of God’s love and Jesus’ redemptive life is proclaimed and applied to our lives today. We want our preachers/speakers to work hard at applying the ancient Word to our lives today. We believe you will find the lessons encouraging, relevant and Bible-centered.
At the close of each sermon, the preacher will typically “extend an invitation.” This is a special call for those who would like to, surrender their life to Christ and be baptized, request public prayer and/or publicly confess personal failings, speak with a minister or elder, or respond in some other way. This is not a time you need to feel anxious as no one will be singled out embaressed in any way. There may be several who respond, or there may be none. I someone responds, several others may go forward and sit with that brother or sister in support of them. If anyone responds for baptism, you will generally witness their baptism during this service.